Japan-Australia 2+2 meeting to be held in early December

Pool via Reuters
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, left, shakes hands with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Perth, Australia, on Oct. 22.

The Japanese and Australian governments are arranging to hold a face-to-face 2-plus-2 meeting between their foreign and defense ministers in Tokyo in the first half of December, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The two countries are seeking closer ties as “quasi-allies,” and intend to deepen security cooperation between the Self-Defense Forces and the Australian Defense Force with an eye on jointly responding to contingencies involving Taiwan.

The Japan-Australia Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation signed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during Kishida’s visit to Australia in October clearly states that the two countries will “consult each other on contingencies that may affect our sovereignty and regional security interests, and consider measures in response.”

Based on the declaration, the two countries are expected to discuss specific measures to enhance interoperability between the SDF and the Australian Defense Force at the 2-plus-2 meeting

These will be the first in person 2-plus-2 talks between the two nations in about four years, following a meeting held in Australia in October 2018.